Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan

The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan

Completion Date: March 30, 2011
Reason for Reading: Fun!
A sweet and touching modern love story, told through dictionary entries.

basis, n.
There has to be a moment at the beginning when you wonder whether you’re in love with the person or in love with the feeling of love itself.

If the moment doesn’t pass, that’s it—you’re done. And if the moment does pass, it never goes that far. It stands in the distance, ready for whenever you want it back. Sometimes it’s even there when you thought you were searching for something else, like an escape route, or your lover’s face.

How does one talk about love? Do we even have the right words to describe something that can be both utterly mundane and completely transcendent, pulling us out of our everyday lives and making us feel a part of something greater than ourselves? Taking a unique approach to this problem, the nameless narrator of David Levithan’s The Lover’s Dictionary has constructed the story of his relationship as a dictionary. Through these short entries, he provides an intimate window into the great events and quotidian trifles of being within a couple, giving us an indelible and deeply moving portrait of love in our time.
I initially was going to share quotes from this book and then review it later. Instead, I will just say I surprisingly loved this little book. If you are going to enjoy it, you will appreciate the quotes more than my thoughts.
candid, adj.

“Most times, when I’m having sex, I’d rather be reading.”
This was, I admit, a strange thing to say on a second date. I guess I was just giving you warning.
“Most times when I’m reading,” you said, “I’d rather be having sex.”

Page 46; The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan

autonomy, n.

“I want my books to have their own shelves,” you said, and that’s how I knew it would be okay to live together.

Page 22; The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan

macabre, adj.

If you ever need proof that I love you, the fact that I allowed you to dress me up as a dead baby Jesus for Halloween should do it. I suppose it would be even better proof if it hadn't been Halloween.

Page 139; The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan

deciduous, adj.

I couldn't believe one person could own so many shoes, and still buy new ones every year.

Page 69; The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan (Only in my household, I hear that often about books and he hears it often about tools.)

love, n.

I'm not even going to try.

Page 136, The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan

And, then one longish one:
lover, n.

Oh, how I hated this word. So pretentious, like it was always being translated from the French. The tint and taint of illicit, illegitimate affections. Dictionary meaning: a person having a love affair. Impermanent. Unfamilial. Inextricably linked to sex.
I have never wanted a lover. In order to have a lover, I must go back to the root of the word. For I have never wanted a lover, but I have always wanted to love, and to be loved.
There is no word for the recipient of the love. There is only a word for the giver. There is the assumption that lovers come in pairs.
When I say, Be my lover, I don't mean, Let's have an affair: I don't mean, Sleep with me. I don't mean, Be my secret.
I want us to go back down to that root.
I want you to be the one who loves me.
I want to be the one who loves you.
Page 137, The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan


  1. I read this yesterday while eating supper. LOL

    The entries that spoke to the most to me were the ones that dealt with infidelity. Infidel! (I imagine Jeff Dunham when I hear that word haha)

    I really enjoyed this one too.

  2. I really need to get my hands on this one!

  3. This sounds delightful! I have loved everything by Levithan that I've read so far. And right now I'm listening to Will Grayson, Will Grayson and it's excellent.

  4. *Amy: It was really well done!

    *Amanda: I hope you enjoy it!

    *Darla: He is a great author. I look forward to more from him. :)


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